Population isolates may be particularly useful for association studies of complex traits. This utility, however, largely depends on the transferability of tag SNPs chosen from reference samples, such as HapMap, to samples from such populations. Factors that characterize population isolates, such as widespread genetic drift, could impede such transferability. In this report, we show that tag SNPs chosen from HapMap perform well in several population isolates; this is true even for populations that differ substantially from the HapMap sample either in levels of linkage disequilibrium or in SNP allele frequency distributions. Genet. Epidemiol. 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.